More, Less, Different … Progress

I think I am making some progress in deciding what I want to do with my photography.  In the past few years I constantly looked for cameras and gear that were lighter but with better and better image quality.  That direction led me to getting the Fujifilm X-T1 and mostly prime lenses; but that meant that I had to give up some of the things I use to photograph.

Since all cameras are compromises, I tended to keep prioritizing my gear for lower light photography of people; i.e., up close with higher shutter speeds to stop motion while moving about inside rooms and hallways that have poor lighting.  The biggest problems with those choices are that I can only show a few of the images on my blog because of privacy concerns, and I don’t make the kind of images that allow me to experiment with post processing, etc.

I have come around to the conclusion that I went a bit too far and might even have gone in the wrong direction.  I am now going to shift my goals toward maximizing my opportunities to make more images that I like to experiment on and use in my blog.  I want to go back to some of the kinds of images I have posted in past years.  Those kinds of images require longer focal length lenses than I can afford with Fujifilm gear.

If I am going to try and take more long distance landscape details as well as attempt to make more unique wildlife and flower images, I am going to have to do it with a different camera that has reasonable long focal length zoom lenses.  It also means that I need a capability to take close-ups, maybe even macro pictures.  I do have the Fuji 60 mm prime lens which is as close as they have for such images, so I have been trying some different images with it to see how I like it.  The images below were made with it in very low light.

The problems I have with the lens are it really isn’t a macro lens, the focal length is a little short, it doesn’t focus as close as I would like, and it is slow to focus.  It slowly travels from one end to the other and back and even then when it locks on focus I’m not sure what it locked on.  This means that if I obtain another camera system I might also want to look into getting a true macro lens.

For longer focal lengths, I am interested in a camera and lens that will allow me to reach out to an effective focal length of 600 mm if I can.  I have several possible alternative systems to look at to see which best meets my needs.  If I stay with my Fujifilm system for long focal lengths, my 50 – 230 mm lens is the longest that I am willing to pay for; but, it has a number of shortfalls.  First it only reaches out to an effective 345 mm, and I have had trouble with focusing in cold weather.  Due to cost restrictions and the excellent ergonomics of the X-T1, I might continue to use my Fujifilm system and “make-do” with the limitations of the lenses, but I’m really hoping to get back to a capability to photograph a wider set of subjects.

I have made progress in thinking about what I would like to photograph, but less progress in how to do it.  As I age I find that more and more of my choices are limited by funds, and more critically, my physical condition.  Before I blog about what I will be photographing, I must first determine if I can do it and/or how to do it; therefore, I find that I still have to consider my equipment.  My available subjects and physical conditions are hard limits that I have to work around.  What gear I use will answer my personal questions of will I be photographing more, less, or differently.  Actually it will likely be some combination of more, less, and different.